There are millions of websites hosted on WordPress and the bigger chunk, if not all, uses some kind of plugin to make the platform more accessible, efficient and attractive. These plugins can be free or subscription-based and there are literally thousands of them. Some for SEO, some for setting up a store and some to make the user experience better. That being said, not all of them qualify as “essentials”. So, here I am, listing the top 8 essential plugins that will smoothen your transition to 2020 –

1. JetPack

JetPack is perhaps the most common and useful plugin used on millions of websites hosted on WordPress. The best thing about JetPack is it’s free with upgradable plans and offers more than 30 modules. These modules can be enabled or disabled anytime from the General, Security, Engagement, Appearance and Writing categories.

Most Notable Features of JetPack:

  1. For better writing experience, you can enable the Spelling, Grammar, and MarkDown modules.
  2. You can add a contact form using this WordPress plugin
  3. Blog posts can be published with just an email, thanks to the Post by Email feature
  4. Upgraded plans allow responsive Video hosting without ads
  5. It also offers automatic backup for your website

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is undoubtedly the best SEO plugin on the chart. It’s been downloaded millions of times and has a solid rating which speaks for its rep. among site owners. This plugin itself handles most of the SEO aspects for your web content & monitors the performance.

Most Notable Features of Yoast SEO:

  1. Creates a sitemap file and then submits the file to different search consoles automatically
  2. Adds meta values for your web content
  3. Manages indexing of the blog posts
  4. Optimizes content title, description, and image for social media
  5. Controls and monitors readability of content
  6. Edits .htaccess and .txt files
  7. Adds SEO title automatically
  8. Allows you to add focus keywords and synonyms for the keywords
  9. Offers full control over breadcrumbs

3. WooCommerce

If you are selling products or services on your site, WooCommerce is a must-have. WooCommerce is basically the one-stop solution for most online store needs. It makes the products on your site sorted and more accessible to customers as well as easy to manage for admins.

Most Notable Features of WooCommerce:

  1. WooCommerce allows business owners to offer several options for the products to customers
  2. Customers can also choose from several shipping options like local pickups, free shipping, etc.
  3. Geolocation enabled taxes
  4. Business owners can offer multiple payment options including PayPal, Credit cards and even check
  5. Allows you to sort the products based on tags, categories, and attributes, which also makes it easier for customers to find
  6. Import – Export option for products
  7. Lean order management interface

4. Google Analytics

Nothing reflects your site and business like the stats. You know what they say “Number don’t lie”. If you really want to know how your site is doing, Google Analytics is the tool for you. With this free plugin from Google, you can keep track of your site performance, impact as well as get suggestions for your site based on your recent performance. 

Most Notable Features of Google Analytics:

  1. Helps track the performance in search results
  2. Allows you to correctly measure the impact of your content on your business
  3. You can calculate the conversion rates for each product
  4. Tells you how visitors are finding your site

5. MailChimp

If you are planning on an email marketing campaign, you must have this plugin installed. MailChimp not only manages the emails but also ensures the subscriber’s list is up to date. Even though the MailChimp plugin is free to use, for commercial purposes, you’ll need the premium subscription.

Most Notable Features of MailChimp:

  1. Keeps the subscriber’s list up to date
  2. Sends email in bulk
  3. Customize the delivery of emails
  4. Lets you create beautiful Opt-In form
  5. Track the results of your email campaign
  6. Helps you prepare a better marketing strategy for future

6. CoSchedule

If your multi-author site relies on regular blog posts or articles, (like a news portal, forum or blog site), you’ll appreciate this plugin. With CoSchedule, the site owners can manage and monitor the writers in charge of the content. The CoSchedule plugin also facilitates the workflow for your writers as well.

Most Notable Features of CoSchedule:

  1. Provides site admin with a well-sorted editorial calendar
  2. Allows the site owners to plan the content strategy
  3. Allows the site owners to assign individual content to individual writers and keep track of the progress
  4. Site owners can contribute to the writers post instantly thanks to the plugin
  5. Helps with content marketing and advertising

7. LiveChat

Live chat on your website is one of the best ways to communicate with your customers and LiveChat is the best plugin for that. With only $15 per month plan, this WordPress plugin helps you make better conversion & allows you to track the customer’s behavior.

Most Notable Features of LiveChat:

  1. The interface is smooth, clean and lean, making the customers more comfortable to talk to you
  2. It is mobile responsive that’s why your agents can talk to the customers from any device, from anywhere
  3. Let’s you assess your support team properly with an evaluation after each session
  4. Allows you to keep track of your customer’s buying behavior
  5. Integrates with other marketing tools

8. Sumo Formerly SumoMe

Sumo, which was known as SumoMe, is an efficient WordPress plugin to manage subscribers and social shares. We all know how important social media marketing is for your business and Sumo makes it easier by providing free tools you need to grow the subscribers’ count and social sharing. These tools can range from simple sharing buttons to customizable layouts.

Most Notable Features of Sumo:

  1. Helps in growing the subscribers
  2. Makes social sharing easier for your visitors
  3. Offers up-to-date analytics of your contents
  4. Easy to customize the signup forms

These WordPress plugins are the best in their categories. But if they don’t meet your requirements, there are some good alternatives for each of them on WordPress plugin collection that you can try.